New England Patriots' insider linebackers coach Jerod Mayo seems to be the favorite to take over as Bill Belichick's successor, but he already might be set up for failure. There's been a reason why throughout all the head coaching interviews Mayo has had, he's returned to the Patriots. The team likely wants to give Mayo a shot to be the head coach, or at least that's the way it's seemed for years now.
Mayo played for the Patriots from 2008-2015, and has served as the ILBs coach since 2019. As a player, he made to Pro Bowls, was named to an All-Pro team in 2010 and won a Super Bowl with the franchise. If there was anyone who truly embodied what the "Patriot Way" meant, it was Mayo.
And that, right there, is a problem. You see, for years, the Patriot Way was seen as a concept that was objectively successful and was copied by other teams throughout the years. The Patriot Way, depending on who you ask, could be defined as a team identity that consisted of discipline, high level execution, and an overall winning formula.
However, over the last few years, we've seen holes develop with the Patriot Way. Some would even argue that the success of the team over the last two decades was largely due to Tom Brady, instead of this Patriot Way concept. We've also seen Bill Belichick's coaching assistants try and fail to implement this during their own coaching stops.
Matt Patricia tried and failed with the Detroit Lions. Joe Judge tried and failed with the New York Giants. Bill O'Brien tried and (mostly) failed with the Houston Texans, and now both Judge and O'Brien are back with the team, but are currently contributing to one of the worst teams in football. Why should we think that Jerod Mayo would be any different?
The Patriot Way isn't what it was and I'm not sure it was anything more than Tom Brady being really good at football. We've seen other coaching trees work out, like those coming from Andy Reid and Kyle Shanahan. However, Belichick's coaching tree simply isn't a successful one, and Mayo has experience in it as a coach and as a former player.
I would be hesitant to advocate for Jerod Mayo as the successor to Bill Belichick. I don't think it'd be that successful.